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The Purpose of Education (according to our Founding Fathers) "It is an object of vast magnitude that systems of education should be adopted and pursued.

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Presentation on theme: "The Purpose of Education (according to our Founding Fathers) "It is an object of vast magnitude that systems of education should be adopted and pursued."— Presentation transcript:



3 The Purpose of Education (according to our Founding Fathers) "It is an object of vast magnitude that systems of education should be adopted and pursued which may not only diffuse a knowledge of the sciences but may implant in the minds of the American youth the principles of virtue and of liberty and inspire them with just and liberal ideas of government and with an inviolable attachment to their own country.“ Noah Webster, On the Education of Youth in America, (circa 1788)

4 The U.S. Constitution left that responsibility up to the states: LOCAL control of education was necessary to preserve freedom!


6 On October 17 th, 1979, Pres. Jimmy Carter signed a bill that established a cabinet level U.S. Department of Education. Prior to this, the U.S.A had the finest education system in the world.

7 In 1980, Ronald Reagan ran on the promise to abolish the U.S. Department of Education.

8 Bob Dole also ran on that same premise in 1996: “The federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved in school curricula or to control jobs in the workplace. That is why we will abolish the Department of Education, end federal meddling in our schools, and promote family choice at all levels of learning.” -- Bob Dole

9 Why Couldn’t the U.S. Department of Education be abolished? “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!” --Ronald Reagan

10 Once created, hard to get rid of:

11 However, the U.S. Department of Education was not allowed to dictate school curriculum: Instead other outlets were used for control over schools. Grants & money were given if state participated in federal programs: Title I Funding (1965 – Improving the academic achievement of the disadvantaged) No Child Left Behind (2001) Race to the Top (2010)

12 Title I (Started in 1965) Started off as a very good program Asserted that students of all races should have the same opportunity to get a good education Other programs followed: As money hand-outs increased, so did the federal mandates! Used as a device to control schools.

13 No Child Left Behind (in 2001) In 2001, the U.S. Department of Education dangled an enormous sum of money in front of states. States could receive that money if they participated in the “No Child Left Behind” program that required states to administer high stakes testing in their schools. Arizona had already created their own state AIMS program in 1999 (which tested only grades 3, 5, 8, and 10). But, with AIMS already in place, our state simply transformed it into a federal program to satisfy NCLB requirements –testing all grades 3 through 8, and 10.

14 Problems with NCLB: Dumbing down of tests –not an accurate way to measure The loss of valuable learning time due to teachers preparing students for the test; Puts unnecessary pressure and students and teachers. There is no benefit of administering a standardized test more than a total of total of 4 times during K-12. Schools can get a clear enough picture of how students are doing with testing grades 3, 6, 8, and once more during high school; Reduces the importance of other educational enriching activities such as music, art, P.E. and even history; Undermines American ideas of free thinking, creativity, experimentation, freedom of expression and diversity in education; Has the potential to increase bullying in schools and suicide rates (as seen in Japan, China, and South Korea)


16 The No Child Left Behind/ AIMS program was far from perfect and our state wanted to jump ship. In 2010, Arizona had another carrot dangled in front of them: a possible $250 million Race to the Top Grant. This was the grant that bound us to the Common Core Standards and exams which now tested ALL grades 3 through 12. The $250 million dollar carrot also included a No Child Left Behind waiver.

17 We bought into it, hook, line, and sinker and got rid of the NCLB/AIMS octopus –and we pulled up a sea monster!

18 The Race to the Top Monsters (created in 2010):

19 What is so bad about the Common Core State Standards?

20 1. It is unconstitutional: Article I, Section 8 & 10 th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. “If Congress can apply money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may establish teachers in every State, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public Treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may undertake the regulation of all roads, other than post roads. In short, everything, from the highest object of State legislation, down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress; for every object I have mentioned would admit the application of money, and might be called if Congress pleased provisions for the general welfare…I venture to declare it as my opinion, that were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundation, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America…” --James Madison

21 2. It is NOT state led. It was initiated and created by private interests in Washington, DC, without any true representation from the states. Standards were “written with minimal public awareness or participation”. There are almost 14,000 school boards in the U.S. and only 1,000 responders commented during the one month public feedback window in 2009.

22 Standards were led by: Achieve, Inc. (a nonprofit organization comprised of education reformers who have been advocating national standards and curriculum for decades.) National Governors Association (NGA –a trade association that doesn’t include all governors.) Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO –another DC based trade association), partnered with the following: AIR (American Institute for Research –“a global leader in P-20 education.” Textbook companies such as McGraw Hill, Pearson, & Scholastic. Corporations such as Microsoft, Knewton, and the Data Recognition Corporation. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation And many other “Philanthropy groups” and Corporations

23 Take Note: The AZMerit was not a state created test. It was created by AIR (American Institute for Research). AIR is a partner of Smarter Balanced who was given over $175 million by the U.S. Department of Education to create standardized tests for Common Core along with PARCC. Both AIR and SMARTER Balanced have also received millions from the Gates Foundation. Secretary Duncan’s chief of staff wrote, “…the Common Core was intended to create a national market for book publishers, technology companies, testing corporations, and other vendors.”

24 Some say that businesses brought us these standards to help our nation to be able to compete in the global economy-- & Bill Gates, by far, is the largest leader in developing and implementing the Common Core Standards and has invested over $2.3 billion dollars.

25 “For the first time, there will be a large uniform base of customers eager to buy products that can help every kid learn and every teacher get better.” –Bill Gates [49]

26 3. Loss of local control. States must accept the standards word for word. Districts and teachers cannot modify the standards if they find them developmentally inappropriate. Standards are fixed and inflexible. States only have “the option to identify as much as 15% in additional standards once they’ve adopted Common Core verbatim.” [33] [34] Our state adopted the standards in May 2010 and committed to follow them verbatim even before they were finalized and published the following month. [38] AZ parents and teachers are over 2,000 miles away from DC. This distance makes it difficult for us to have a say, if not impossible.

27 “As the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) process explains, every set of genuine standards must have a process by which aggrieved parties may make their case and be heard, and by which those in charge may hear their grievances and make adjustments when necessary. In the case of the Common Core, there is no such process, nor is there anyone or any organization to appeal to.” –Diane Ravitch, a historian of education, an educational policy analyst, and a research professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. [3]

28 Standards Do Dictate Curriculum! The Gates Foundation has funded to help school districts choose textbooks. [4] The EdReports website states: “These Consumer Reports-style reviews will highlight those instructional materials that are aligned to the higher standards states have adopted so that teachers, principals and district and state officials charged with purchasing materials can make more informed choices.”


30 School districts were even given a book by Achieve to tell them HOW to implement Common Core in their districts:

31 4. The standards are of mediocre quality. Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Dr. James Milgram were on the Common Core Validation Committee and declined to sign off on the standards. Statement by Dr. Stotsky: “ What are the chief deficiencies of Common Core’s standards? A. The standards are not internationally benchmarked. B. The standards are not research-based. C. The standards are not rigorous. “They omit high school mathematics standards leading to STEM careers, stress writing over reading, reduce literary study in grades 6-12, use an unproven approach to teaching Euclidean geometry, defer completion of Algebra I to grade 9 or 10, are developmentally inappropriate in the primary grades, and use the high school English class for informational reading instruction.” [16]

32 “Common Core’s ‘college readiness’ standards for English language arts and reading do not aim for a level of achievement that signifies readiness for authentic college-level work. They point to no more than readiness for a high school diploma (and possibly not even that, depending on where the cut score is set). Despite claims to the contrary, they are not internationally benchmarked. States adopting Common Core’s standards will damage the academic integrity of both their post-secondary institutions and their high schools precisely because Common Core's standards do not strengthen the high school curriculum and cannot reduce the current amount of post-secondary remedial coursework in a legitimate way. Their standards may lead to reduced enrollment in advanced high school courses and to weakened post-secondary coursework because Common Core's ‘college readiness’ ELA/R standards are designed to enable a large number of high school students to be declared ‘college ready’ and to enroll in post-secondary institutions that will have to place them in credit-bearing courses. These institutions will then likely be under pressure from the USDE to retain these students in order to increase college graduation rates. [14] --Dr. Sandra Stotsky

33 "The Common Core standards claim to be 'benchmarked against to international standards' but this phrase is meaningless. They are actually two or more years behind international expectations by eighth grade, and only fall further behind as they talk about grades 8-12. Indeed, they don't even fully cover the material in a solid geometry course, or in the second year algebra course." [15] --Dr. James Milgram’s testimony before the Indiana’s Legislation Committee

34 CCSS --no better than AIMS: The Fordham Institute has rated the Common Core Standards with a B+ in English and an A- in Math despite receiving money from the Gates Foundation. The Fordham Institute rated Arizona’s previous state standards with a B+ in English and an A- in Math. [21] This is obviously not an improvement for education in Arizona. According to Fordham: “…California, Indiana and the District of Columbia had ELA (English Language Arts) standards clearly superior to those of the Common Core. And nearly a dozen states had ELA or math standards in the same league as Common Core.” [18]

35 Even the Common Core establishment is no longer claiming that the standards are “internationally benchmarked” --the website now states that they are “informed by” the standards of “other top performing countries.” [19]

36 What are Some Specific Common Core Standard Problems?

37 Problems with Some of the English Language Arts Standards: ELA Standards of 70% informational text and 30% classic literature studies. (See “The Value of Literature Study” by Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, Stout) CCSS.ELA. Literacy. 9-10. 1 --On demand writing analysis of an article. Does not allow students to think for themselves and state an opinion or use outside sources. (This flaw makes it impossible for students to repudiate a faulty teacher’s philosophy such as “God Does Not Exist” and “Why Suicide is Preferred in Some Cases”.)

38 David Coleman, lead writer of the ELA Common Core Standards: “As you grow up in this world, you realize people really don’t give a s— about what you feel or what you think”

39 David Coleman, now is President of the College Board. He has now redesigned the SAT to follow the Common Core Standards: The new SAT essay writing portion also has the same “on demand writing” standard with no opinion allowed. And for creating this, Coleman earns a base salary of $550,000 with a total compensation of nearly $750,000.

40 Math Standards Problems: The Math CCSS are overly prescriptive and convoluted. Many math teachers cannot understand what is expected of them. Mixing ELA with Math = Disaster Math wiz kids usually LOVE math, but not ELA. ELA wiz kids usually LOVE ELA, but not math. Everyone is unique, That is what makes the world go round!


42 5. The Cost $$$ It is required by Arizona State Statute ARS 15-203(A)(10) that a cost analysis be performed before new standards are adopted in this state and presented to the AZ Legislature. No cost analysis was done prior to the adoption to see what impact it would have on our local school districts. The statute reads: “The State Board of Education shall...Prepare a budget for expenditures necessary for proper maintenance of the board and accomplishment of its purposes and present the budget to the legislature.”

43 After the adoption of the standards, The State Board of Education (SBE) estimated that it would cost $131 million over 2 years (FY14 and FY15) to implement “Common Core,” not including related costs for additional Internet access and computers needed for testing. Corresponding Arizona Association of School Business Officials (AASBO) estimates are $157 million for instruction-related costs plus $230 million for additional Internet access and computers ($387 million total). [13] Arizona only received $25 million out of the $250 million Race To The Top (RTTT) grant incentive to implement Common Core. $12.5 million was kept by the AZ Education Department. The remaining $12.5 million made it to the schools. [40]

44 The cost of the AZMerit test will be about $19 million the first year. The AZ Department of Education is unsure of how much the test will cost in subsequent years. [30]

45 These costs come at a time when school districts say they are broke. Voters in various municipalities have already approved of two different temporary 1% tax increases to help schools through the recession. Are we going to be asked for a third tax 1% tax increase to cover Common Core implementation costs too? Will another 1% tax increase be enough to cover the cost of continuing on with Common Core?

46 6. Data Collection Under the Race to the Top agreement, states are obligated to “implement a State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) used to track students by obtaining personally identifiable information.” [25]

47 How is the data collected? As of 2015, the Arizona Department of Education is continually putting information into a database, called the “AZDash”.

48 What type info is put into AZDash? We do not know exactly what type of info is put into the Statewide Database. However, in 2012 Pres. Obama made and executive order that changed FERPA (student privacy laws) so that they may obtain the following [48]: The student’s name; The name of the student’s parent or other family members; The address of the student or student’s family; A Personal Identifier, such as the student’s SSN, student number or biometric record (“biometric record” as used in the definition for “personally identifiable information” means a record of one or more measurable biological or behavioral characteristics that can be used for automated recognition of an individual. Examples include fingerprints; retina and iris patterns; voiceprints; DNA sequence; facial characteristics; and handwriting); The student’s date of birth, place of birth, and mother’s maiden name;

49 What info will be collected on my child specifically from the AZMerit? AIR (American Institute for Research) is a behavioral testing company. They created the test (with Smarter Balanced), AIR will have access to your schools’ wifi, AIR grades the test & reports info that will go into the database. No one knows what type of information they will collect, not even the Arizona Department of Education. However we do know that they will be gathering information from your child’s test question answers. A behavioral research company can also easily gather very personal and sensitive information via psychoanalysis of what your child writes. (See (Sensitive info such as religious beliefs, party affiliation, views on gun control, population control, environmental issues, sexual preferences, etc.) Testing companies are also know for starting their tests off with a survey.

50 The White House Hosted a “Datapalooza” in 2012 that described other information that they would like to obtain, such as: How your child is feeling a certain day? [31] What did your child eat for breakfast? What types of educational material help your child learn best? Videos, books, digital devices? At what times of the day does your child learn best? How does your child feels about himself/herself?[31]

51 Don’t Believe It? Hear it straight from the horse’s mouth: In 2012, the White House hosted a “Datapalooza” --no joke, that’s what they really called it! “The human race is about to enter into a totally data-mined existence, and it’s going to be really fun to watch… …Knewton students today (we have 180,000 right now, by December it will be about 650,000 and by next year it will be in the millions and then the next year it will be close to 10 million. And that’s just through our Pearson partnership)… …we literally have more data on our students than any company has about anybody else about anything –and that’s not even close… …and when we go take that whole combined data power, that whole network of millions, soon to be tens of millions, and eventually hundreds of millions of people and for every single concept that your child learns… we will take that combined power of that data network to find the perfect plan for that kid to learn that concept.” -- Jose Ferreira, CEO of Knewton at 2012 White House Datapalooza [31]

52 Data, data, & more data… In addition to traditional data points, the current P-20 system can collect more than 400 individual pieces of data on students, including: Hobbies Medical Conditions Learning Disabilities Religious Affiliations Family Income Behavioral Problems At-Risk Status Homework Completion Overall Health Status Dwelling Arrangements Career Goals

53 Also, under the new FERPA laws, your child’s personally identifiable information can be shared with companies and organizations that helped develop and implement the Common Core Standards, related exams, and databases. (This violates the 4 th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution!)

54 Who can info be shared with? Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (the biggest in Common Core); Achieve, Inc. (Intel, Pearson, Harcourt, McGraw-Hill, Scholastic, Microsoft, HP,…); William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; National Governors Association (this is a trade organization & does not have to answer to voters); Council of Chief State School Officers (another trade organization); American Institute for Research (AIR is a behavioral research company); SMARTER Balanced (SBAC) and PARCC (received over $330 million of tax payer money to develop CC tests); The SAT College Board and ACT; Pearson (wants to shift learning from tangible textbooks to online sources); Knewton (“data mining children” –CEO, Jose Ferreira); Gallup (known for national political polls); Agilix (talks about collecting data even on a child’s feelings); (storing personal information to help you apply for future scholarships); And many, many more…

55 How do these companies get this information?


57 The Data Review Board meets 4 times per year to review data requests. The meetings are closed to the public.

58 7. High Stakes Testing Has Many Negative Consequences. The loss of valuable learning time due to teachers preparing students for the test. (Some schools are spending the entire month of March to prepare for the test.) Can only produce a snap shot of how a student performs that day. (Portfolio assessments are much more effective on determining a student’s progress and knowledge) Reduces the importance of other educational enriching activities such as music, art, P.E., and even history; Undermines American ideas of free thinking, creativity, experimentation, freedom of expression and diversity in education; Has the potential to increase bullying in schools and suicide rates (as seen in Japan, China, and South Korea);

59 The National Education Association (NEA) has signed on to a resolution that calls for a reduction of standardized mandates and base school accountability on multiple forms of measurements. [46] NEA’s “Campaign Against Toxic Testing”: “The overuse of standardized tests for high stakes decisions has shortchanged students, teachers and our education system in too many ways for far too long,” said Dennis Van Roekel. “We’ve lost sight of the reason tests were designed—to help gauge students’ comprehension and progress.”

60 High-stakes testing is particularly unfair to under- privileged schools… These children should not be compared to areas where more advantaged children live. You may be able to compare apples to apples, but children are people –not fruit.

61 --Diane Ravitch, (A historian of education, an educational policy analyst, and a research professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development) [42] “What the advocates ignored is that test scores are heavily influenced by socioeconomic status. Standardized tests are normed on a bell curve. The upper half of the curve has an abundance of those who grew up in favorable circumstances, with educated parents, books in the home, regular medical care, and well-resourced schools. Those who dominate the bottom half of the bell curve are the kids who lack those advantages, whose parents lack basic economic security, whose schools are overcrowded and under-resourced. To expect tougher standards and a renewed emphasis on standardized testing to reduce poverty and inequality is to expect what never was and never will be.”

62 We are a very diverse nation and all have different needs: One size does not fit all!

63 8. Teachers, principals, school board members, and even parents face retaliation if they criticize Common Core. Tucson teacher, Brad McQueen, “was removed from several state committees he was paid to serve on after speaking on media outlets against Common Core and the accompanying standardized test.” [28] (He was even called a “f---tard” by Angela Escobar of the AZ Dept. of Ed. [27} ) An AP Calculus teacher was given a gag order that came from his district administration through his principal last year (2013-2014). It was made clear that he was not allowed to speak about it publically. Teacher Unions are falsely claiming that the majority of their teachers approve of Common Core. [29] Parents are afraid to voice their opinions in fear that their student will face retaliation from teachers or other school employees.

64 So, if not Common Core, what should we put in its place? In all honesty, we do not need national standards. Scientific evidence shows education standards do not improve student achievement. [45] Our nation put a man on the moon without any type of mandated standards!

65 However, if Arizona feels the need to have standards to satisfy political public opinion, then we should put in place: A true Arizona State led set of standards! We can bring back the previous AZ State standards that were just as good as the Common Core standards, without all the problems mentioned above. This will give our state time to research other solutions. We really do have some very brilliant educators within our own state! Other states like Massachusetts and California had previous superior state standards that we could imitate and adopt. [43] Dr. Sandra Stotsky has offered Arizona the previously rated #6 in the world ELA standards for FREE! We can use past assessments such as the Iowa & Standford 9. Districts should be the ones to decide on which standardized test to use.

66 How can we get rid of Common Core & associated data mining?

67 Join in the effort! Opt out of the AzMerit (Boston Tea Party Style!) Go to Through Legislation Through our Governor Through our School Boards Sign up for email action alerts (email us at: SPREAD THE WORD!

68 Our kids are worth it!

69 Sources: 1. Common Core fact sheet by Dr. Sandra Stotsky (CC Validation Committee Member):, 2. 3. Diane Ravitch’s blog (a historian of education, an educational policy analyst, and a research professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.) 4. 5. Common Core ELA Standards: 6. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. Dr. Sandra Stotsky’s testimony before the Texas Legislature: 18. 19. 20. 21. Fordham Institute rating of Arizona’s previous standards: 22. Former AZ School Superintendent, John Huppenthal’s letter to parents on November 3, 2014: 23. AIR partners with SMARTER Balanced: 24. US Dept. of Education award letter to SMARTER Balanced: 25. Letter to Arne Duncan from Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) about concerns over student data collection: Education-Secretary-Arne-Duncan Education-Secretary-Arne-Duncan

70 26. White House hosts 2012 Datapalooza: 27. Arizona Daily Independent article: 28. Arizona Daily Star: 29. 30. 31. 2010 White House Datapalooza, Agilix presentation: 32. CCSSO Corporate Partners: 33. The 15% Rule: 34. Common Core Copyright: 35. (Diane Ravitch is a a historian of education, an educational policy analyst, and a research professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.) 36. Common Core Public Feedback: 37. “What is Achieve Inc.?”: 38. Memorandum of Understanding, RTTT Waiver & Implementation of Common Core, May 2010: applications/arizona.pdf applications/arizona.pdf 39. Common Core Standards published in June 2010: standards.html 40. Race To The Top Grant: 41. NEA calls for Arne Duncan’s resignation: 42. Diane Ravitch’s Speech to the Modern English Association: 43. 44. Fordham State ratings prior to Common Core implementation: 45. Scientific evidence shows education standards do not improve student achievement: 46. 47. The Absurdity of High-stakes testing: 48. 49.

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